Paper Route

Paper Route - student project


I was first introduced to the band Paper Route about a year ago through a designer friend Shane Harris online via Twitter. I instantly fell in love with their sound melodies and the strong drum beats. Their unique and inspiring approach to music, bringing indie styles with electro-pop undertones, was exactly what I needed to find inspiration for my design.


Their album The Peace of Wild Things was release in 2012 and was a glimmer of hope in the rough couple of years the band had since the release of Absence. The album  "banks on the hope that popular art can be made to arise out of horrible situations."


"The timing of the album’s production schedule coincided with a dire cancer diagnosis within Howat’s immediate family, the lyrics Daly brought to the table largely document the dissolution of his marriage. As Daly sees it, the risk of raw candor and vulnerability is the whole point, “If I’m not terrified by what I’m doing, I’d prefer to move back to Ohio and work on my art. I’m drawn to the fact that it makes me feel uncomfortable.”'


Overall I love the message of rising up through the ashes and finding inspiration and hope in pain and suffering. This March, Paper Route will be playing in my area and thought it was the perfect opportunity to use them as a starting point for this project.


Inspiration Thoughts & Concepts

I love the album cover title The Peace of Wild Things. The juxtaposition of peace and beasts (or wild things) is an interesting approach. That, with the messaging about finding strength in the darkness was my staring point. It reminds me a lot of red riding hood exploring the dark woods with the beast of wild not far in the shadow. My goal is to visually display these ideas of beasts, betrayal, and dark mystery, while still keeping a glimmer of hope and strength.


Ultimately with this project I do not want to easily succeed at a direction I am experienced at, but try something entirely new and push my limits, even if I don’t succeed.

 Paper Route - image 1 - student projectPaper Route - image 2 - student projectPaper Route - image 3 - student project

See all of my inspiration as I find it:


Paper Route - image 4 - student project

Paper Route - image 5 - student project

Paper Route - image 6 - student project

Paper Route - image 7 - student project

Paper Route - image 8 - student project

Paper Route - image 9 - student project

Paper Route - image 10 - student project

Sketches and Direction

I really enjoy to motif of the wolf and the allegory of Little Red Riding hood. I began exploring the idea of riding hood being the unknown beast and the wolf taken out of the roll of the villain. Its a twist on the classic tale, but less literal. I have explored the idea of a girl surrounded by wolves as she steals the heart of her lover. In the classic tale she is the victim, but what if she is the "Wild Thing" and nobody knows it? I have drawn a lot of inspiration from native headresses as well as the Bands cover art from their album  The Peace of Wild Things. Below are some first round initial sketches of the direction I started to explore.

Paper Route - image 11 - student project

Refined Sketches of overall direction. I really enjoy the idea of the girls pofile up close with the wolf/antler headress. I think in my sketches it is a little too closely zoomed in, I have exlored a few variations with the woods in the background as well as animals like wolves and deer.

A couple other directions I have explored is having two people sittting on a hillside looking over the city. Gives the semblence of love, optimism, and darness in the foreground. FInally, one other variation I am looking at is taking the girl out of the picture and focusing on "The Road Less Traveled" having a field with deer and wolves, then a dark forest, then in the distance brightness on the mountains. Alluding to the motif of travel through darkness to get to a better side.

Paper Route - image 12 - student project

Additional Sketching/Refinements

I started to explore an additional direction. I lik the simplicity and essence of nature but think it doesnt quite have the power of the image of the girl. However, this is a great push for the background imagery with the girl in the foreground.

Paper Route - image 13 - student project

Paper Route - image 14 - student project

This is my attempt to combine the nature imagery with the girl image. I am not sure if it is starting to feel too busy, but would love to get thoughts behind it. Also, don't forget to see my inspiration board on gimmie:


Here are some of my direction for the initial design. I started to struggle a little at the beginning trying to figure out exactly what direction I really wanted to go with the style. At first I pushed for something much more realistic. However, I think I found a much more illustrative direction to go inspired by my desktop background (I use Kuvva so it changes every day). This more simplified, patterned style I really enjoy. I typically dont do work like this but think I can meld my paticular style to fit inspirations I find from this.

Paper Route - image 15 - student project

You can start to see a little bit what that looks like in the black and white vector of the girl, but I want to push it so much more. A lot of work to do still, but excited to dive in with my new found inpsiration.

Paper Route - image 16 - student project

I also worked a little on the background, but not fully in love. Going back to simplifying it even more I worry this (Although nice) is a little too my style and doesnt quite fit my new direction.

Paper Route - image 17 - student project